I'm sure the Collins crash brought a lot of warbird flying to the spotlight, and rightfully so. The part I don't get is what caused the FAA to (apparently) suddenly get upset about dual instruction in Limited aircraft? In some of these warbirds, the only way to learn to fly it is to first get proficient in the T-6, read the POH, then go fly it. Most are single-seat, and even crewed airplanes don't have trainer variants, there aren't simulators or anything of the other modern training aids. So for most planes, you don't have any choice but to solo on your first flight in type. Once you have a few fights, the DPE gives you an oral, rides along in the T-6, then watches from the ground while you fly the maneuvers in the subject aircraft.Yea if they win against him it will have a ripple effect on flight instruction. I have a feeling that they will drop the case against him but ban instruction in Limited category airplanes to stop the warbird training. I do feel that all of this ties back to the B17 crash. I think warbird flying is under attack and if they get their way there will be no more of it.
For me, the TBM was the first airplane I'd ever flown by myself for the first time. Brad Deckert has a dual-controlled TBM (modified for dual controls, not a purpose-built trainer), but I couldn't get to him for a variety of reasons unrelated to this discussion, so I did it the old school way: T-6, POH, solo. For P-40 pilots, everyone who hasn't gone to WBA has done it the old school way too. Until Thom bought this plane, there wasn't really a viable option for dual. But now, the FAA has an issue with it. Does the FAA honestly think it is safer for pilots to solo a P-40 on their first flight rather than have an instructor behind them? Thom's TP-40 was specifically built to transition pilots from the T-6 to the P-40 or other fighters. After 75 years, why does the FAA suddenly think it's more dangerous to provide dual in a P-40 rather than make someone solo it on their first flight?